We invite you to watch this short video and reflect on what you’ve seen by answering the questions below. Thank you to Rev. Ryan Landino, Lead Presbyter for Transformation at the Presbytery of Great Rivers, for creating this Sixty Second Sermon for the Peace & Global Witness Offering.
Click here to watch the video: You are a Child of God
- Who are you when you are your most authentic? What spaces permit you to be your fullest you? Who are the people who see you for who you really are?
- We live in a culture that is constantly labeling us, not in ways intended to name and understand, but in ways meant to reduce who you are and delegitimize your most authentic self. What specific labels have you felt unjustly attacked your sense of self?
- There is a shot where the Child of God sticker is rendered virtually invisible by all the reductionist labels slapped upon him. Have you ever felt erased, or buried by expectations to mask, hide or conform away from your truest self? How do you manage that?
- We are each made up with a number of beautifully complex overlapping identities that make up the totality of who we are, including gender, age, ethnicity, class, etc., that all carry impact on our daily lives. Why is it important to balance the recognition that we are each unique, with the claim that we are all one? What gets lost behind if we lean too far in either direction?
- What would need to change in your environment for you feel the most secure in who you were made to be? Who would need to be a part of affecting those changes with you?
- What relationship does your community have with people from different cultures than you? What would a new justice-making partnership look like between you?
- One way we powerfully hold onto our identities is through language, the language we and our ancestors use to pray to God. Unfortunately, many of our Native Americans siblings carry the trauma of the historical erasure of their indigenous languages. Other African Americans who descended from chattel slavery can no longer trace their heritage to the specific nations from which they were stolen. What is your relationship with the language of your ancestors? What are ways we can effectively preserve the best parts of our cultures? How might that guide our justice efforts today?
- How are you connected to peace and reconciliation efforts both locally and abroad? What relationships might you be able to build to get you more connected?
- When did a community or group make you feel most invited, wanted, or included? What elements were present to make you feel that way? What practices can you engage in to create that experience for someone who is not like you?
- Has your church ever been involved in a ministry or outreach effort that was a stretch for your community? What changed because of those efforts? Did anything about your church community change because of those efforts?
You can find Peace & Global Witness Offering resources online at pcusa.org/peace-global.
Watch more of Pastor Ryan’s Sixty Second Sermon videos by following his Facebook page.